Bring Music to Your Front Door: NPR

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Trumpeter Charlie Porter and bassist John Lakey perform in May 2021.

Aaron Hayman / Courtesy the artist


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Aaron Hayman / Courtesy the artist


Trumpeter Charlie Porter and bassist John Lakey perform in May 2021.

Aaron Hayman / Courtesy the artist

At the heart of any successful jazz business is a spirit of resourcefulness. This is what leads an improviser to navigate a delicate passage, or a conductor to new ideas. And in east Portland, Oregon, in 2014, that’s what prompted a few enterprising minds to create the Montavilla Jazz Festival, an event whose DIY spirit extends to performing musicians.

Charlie Porter is one of those artists: a trumpeter and songwriter with an instinct to shake things up. Impeccably trained at Juilliard and the Paris Conservatory, mentored by Wynton Marsalis (among others), he spent several years contributing powerfully to the Portland scene – and the Montavilla Jazz Festival, which featured him with his band in 2019.

In this episode of Jazz evening, we will hear the highlights of this set – including a piece called “The Unexpected”, which aptly describes what has happened since. When the coronavirus pandemic put an end to life in Portland, Montavilla Jazz made a series of musical home calls, like a literate form of the old telegram sung.

Porter was one of those who showed up to play on people’s doorsteps, and we’ll ride with him like he does. “It’s really cultivating that community aspect of music,” he says of the festival’s efforts, “to a place where it’s not just a tourist thing – where we celebrate this awesome local scene that we have in Portland. “

The musicians: Charlie Porter, trumpet; Joe Manis, tenor saxophone; Greg Goebel, piano; John Lakey, bass; Alan Jones, drums

“Going Viral” comes from Charlie Porter Hindsight (2021) and stars Charlie Porter, trumpet; Jimmie Herrod, vocals; Nick Biello, keyboards; Orrin Evans, piano / keyboards; David Wong, bass; Kenneth Salters, drums

All music written by Charlie Porter

List of sets:

  • Messenger
  • Diverging paths
  • Contradictions within
  • Country of immigration
  • The unexpected
  • Go viral

Credits: Writer and Producer: Alex Ariff; Host: Christian McBride; Sound engineers: Rick Gordon and Patrick Brewer; Mixing engineer, David Tallacksen; Field recorder, Meg Samples; Project manager: Suraya Mohamed; Senior Producer: Katie Simon; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann and Gabrielle Armand

Special thanks to Matt Fleeger of OPB and Kim Gumbel.

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